It’s hard to look away when Jerry Lee and Kelvin Sin Kam-ho are on the dance floor. The dancesport stars emanate a kind of energy that’s heart-pounding to watch when they exchange fierce glances and confident smiles, and perfectly synchronise their moves.
Yesterday, the two 15-year-olds landed back in Hong Kong after winning a gold and two bronze medals at the ADSF Asian Youth Single Dance Championships in Taiwan. They had been among the younger duos in a contest that was primarily for dancers aged 16-18.
Kelvin, from Carmel Secondary School, said that he had been very nervous before their performance, as it had been the first time they had ever danced alone on the dance floor. Before this, every contest they had competed in had always had six or seven other pairs dancing at the same time as them.
Earlier this month, the pair finished in 10th place at the WDSF World Championship Latin Junior II in Bilbao, Spain. While they didn’t walk off with any wins in that contest, they said they had been thrilled about the opportunity to represent Hong Kong in a top-level competition.
“Our coach said we are one of the first couples in Hong Kong to make it to the semi-finals of the world championships. We are really grateful, because we managed to get the best result among couples from Asian countries,” Jerry wrote on Facebook last Tuesday. The duo had been on tenterhooks before stepping out on the dance floor in Spain. They said they had felt under great pressure dancing alongside top couples from around the world, but that their coach Tjasa Vulic had encouraged them to believe in themselves.
Jerry and Kelvin are one of the best junior dancesport couples in Hong Kong. They made a splash at the ADSF Asian Junior Open Championship at Queen Elizabeth Stadium on September 15, competing against contestants from more than 10 Asian countries to win three gold, four silver, and three bronze medals.
Jerry and Kelvin have been dance partners for five years. Jerry, who studies at Renaissance College, told Young Post after the Asian Junior Open the key to an effective partnership is communication. If you don’t know your partner’s needs, it is impossible to dance well.
“We have disagreements about dancing directions and positions, but we listen to each other’s opinions to resolve our differences and find common ground,” Kelvin, who cites the rumba as the dance he enjoys the most, added.
Both Jerry and Kelvin started dancing at a young age, but they love the sport for different reasons. For Kelvin, it was because – unlike other sports that require athletes to focus primarily on their performance – dancesport allows him to do something different. “I get to interact with the audience. I love seeing their reactions because I feel like they are acknowledging me,” said Kelvin.
Jerry, meanwhile, said when she was a child, she would dance whenever she heard music. “I still find that genuine joy when I dance today,” she said. “I love expressing myself through it.” She added she loves performing the rumba the most as it’s a powerful dance that highlights the strength and elegance of female dancers.
Dancesport, for Kelvin, is the perfect balance of the arts and athletics, and something that he wants others to take an interest in.
“So often, people are not aware of the amount of energy that’s needed to do so many dances, one after another,” he said. When asked about his most unforgettable competition, Kelvin said: “It was the King’s Cup in Thailand in early September … my father passed away when I was competing, and I didn’t know until I returned to Hong Kong.”
Kelvin’s dad may be gone but he is still very much in his thoughts, saying that reaching new heights in dancesport is one way of keeping his father’s memory alive.